Record

CodeNA9301
Dates1783-
Person NameRoyal Society of Edinburgh; 1783-
ActivityThe Royal Society of Edinburgh was established by Royal Charter in 1783 for the 'advancement of learning and useful knowledge' and represents all branches of knowledge. Although founded and based in Edinburgh, the Society has been Scotland's national academy of science and letters from the outset. It is a charity funded by public and private donation. Activities of the Society include the award of research fellowships, scholarships and prizes, the organisation of meetings and symposia, the provision of evidence, advice and comment to parliament and government, cultivation of international links and the publication of learned journals. In 1820 the Royal Society Club was founded as a dining club with the object of promoting the Royal Society's aims. In 1924 the Prince of Wales visited the Society and was admitted honourary fellow. 1934 saw the Society's 150th anniversary celebrations (which had been postponed since 1933 due to the President's illness). In 1947 the Society arranged for a memorial tablet to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of James Hutton (1726-1797), geologist, chemist and naturalist, who was elected a fellow of the Society at its inception in 1783 and remained an active member of the Society thereafter. In 1952 the Alembic club, established in the Chemistry Department of Edinburgh University in 1889, reconstituted itself under the aegis of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and aims to reprint seminal works concerning the history of chemistry and allied disciplines. From its inception, the Society was given artifacts and specimens of all descriptions by its Fellows and well-wishers. The original charter specified that if the society decided to dispose of its collections, the antiquities should go to the Advocate's Library and specimens of natural history to the University of Edinburgh Museum. The Huttonian collection, which was accepted by the RSE in 1799 was subsequently passed to the Museum along with various other items, but the Curator of the museum neglected or illused all the RSE material and also did what he could to prevent the fellows having access to it. A prolongued legal wrangle ensued in which the RSE failed to get its property returned and as a result of this loss the society decied to seek an amendment to its charter. In 1987 the Society deposited the David Hume (1711-1776) papers, bequeathed by his nephew, baron David Hume (1757-1838) to the RSE in 1838, to the National Library of Scotland.
Corporate NameRoyal Society of Edinburgh
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